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Juno Awards: What you need to know

Some of the nation’s biggest music stars and thousands of fans are about to descend on Hamilton for Juno weekend, celebrating the best of Canada’s music scene. With so much happening, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t worry, CBC Hamilton has you covered. Here’s your guide to Juno weekend.

Here are your details on the awards show, Junofest, Juno Fan Fare, Music Crawl and more

Both Deadmau5, left, and Lights will perform in Hamilton this weekend as part of the Juno Awards. (Arthur Mola/Associated Press)

Some of the nation’s biggest music stars and thousands of fans are about to descend on Hamilton for Juno weekend, celebrating the best of Canada’s music scene.

Workers have been going nonstop at FirstOntario Centre since Sunday to transform the stadium into a lavish, elaborate set for the likes of Magic!, Shawn Mendes, Kiesza and the Arkells.

The city is expected to see a multimillion-dollar spinoff as scores of people head into town, packing hotels and heading out for places to eat, drink, and party.

With so much happening, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. But don’t worry, CBC Hamilton has you covered.

Here’s your guide to Juno weekend.

The awards show

This is the big ticket – the televised show that drags in the country’s biggest names.

The Weekend will be among the acts playing at The Juno Awards, with Arkells, Magic! and more. (Kevin Winter/Getty)

Performers this year include Drake protégé The Weekend, hometown heroes Arkells, EDM-pop starlet Kiesza, 16-year-old success story Shawn Mendes, rock-reggae collective MAGIC! and award-show stalwarts Hedley.

They’ll be joined by Alanis Morissette (who is being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame) and the mouse-headed DJ deadmau5.

And in case you’re rooting for Hamiltonians (and you’d better be), Arkells, Steve Strongman, Caribou, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Elliott Brood, Daniel Lanois, Diana Panton and Jacksoul are all nominated.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and is broadcast on CTV. Tickets are still available. They range from $39 to $149 and can be purchased at FirstOntario Centre, by phone at 1-855-872-5000 and online at Ticketmaster.ca.

Junofest

While the awards show is the big ticket, Junofest is your best bet to see intimate performances from nominees and up and coming acts.

There are some great artists playing on Friday and Saturday, like Jeremy Fisher, The Glorious Sons, Terra Lightfoot, Emmanuel Jal, Steve Strongman, Joel Plaskett, and lots more.

You can find a complete Junofest schedule here. Fans can buy Junofest wristbands for $30 on Ticketmaster, at the FirstOntario Centre box office, Dr. Disc and at Junofest venues.

You can also purchase advance tickets to specific shows on ticketfly.com – but tickets are limited to accommodate wristband holders. Our advice is to get there early for any show or set you really want to see, as space will be very limited in some venues.

Turn It On Music Crawl

The Junos have also merged with Hamilton’s veritable Art Crawl for the Turn it On Music Crawl on Friday. More than 50 acts will be playing free shows in and around the James Street North area throughout the afternoon and evening as a primer for Junofest.

Live music starts in Jackson Square at noon on 10 stages, with music happening up and down James Street North from 5 to 9 p.m.

Ontario two-piece rock group PS I Love You will be playing at CBC Hamilton, as well as winners from the SoundOff youth music competition.

This map from Tourism Hamilton shows you who is playing where:

Juno Fan Fare

Juno Fan Fare gives fans a chance to meet their favourite artists at Lime Ridge Mall for photos and autographs.

This year, fans will have the chance to meet Arkells, JRDN, Kiesza, Lights, Melanie Durrant, Shawn Mendes, Zeds Dead, the Road Hammers, and lots more.

The first autograph session is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., with a second session running from 2 to 3 p.m.

The Juno Songwriter’s Circle

This event is the jewel of the Junos, and is a chance to hear some of Canada’s best artists tell the stories behind their songs and play them in an intimate setting.

This year features performers Emmanuel Jal, Fred Penner, Ian Thornley, Jenn Grant, Jess Moskaluke, Lights, Matt Andersen and Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother.

The show starts at noon at The Great Hall at Hamilton Place in downtown Hamilton, and tickets are still available on Ticketmaster.

For anyone who can’t make the show, CBC Radio will broadcast it in two parts on March 20 at 2 p.m. and again at March 23 at 7 p.m., as well as Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m. and Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

The Juno Cup

The Juno Cup is an annual tradition that pits Canadian musicians against hockey stars, and you can check it out on Friday at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena.

Jim Cuddy, Ric Nattress and Gary Roberts are all playing in the Juno Cup in Hamilton this weekend. (Justin Zimmerman)

Lacing up the skates on the musician side are members of Elliott Brood, Hollerado, Harlan Pepper, Billy Talent, Cowlick, Down With Webster, Sarah Harmer and more.

They’ll face off against hockey greats like Wendel Clark, Rick Vaive, Gary Roberts, Natalie Spooner and Tessa Bonhomme.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are still available on Ticketmaster.

There’s the information to get you started. Now make sure you get out and experience everything the Junos have to offer in Hamilton this weekend.

For a comprehensive list of events including the Juno photography exhibition and the Juno tour of Canadian art, visit the Junos website.

adam.carter@cbc.ca | @AdamCarterCBC

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